Thursday, November 19, 2009

There Is Therefore Now No Condemnation

By Michele Rayburn



John Owen has wrongly stated:

"To keep our souls in a constant state of mourning and self-abasement is the most necessary part of our wisdom..." (Works, VII, p. 532)


Roman Catholics, as well as those in other religions that do not know the grace of God in salvation, in effect "flagellate" themselves in order to be made acceptable to God, through works righteousness (self-denial, creeds, liturgy, sacred vows).  But why should we?  We who know the Lord's grace toward us not only for our salvation but for each day of our lives?

If we have been saved by grace, why should we "flagellate" ourselves now? We have been made acceptable to God and received His righteousness. We’ve been forgiven. And He loves us with an unfailing, everlasting love.

His love is not conditioned upon us pining away over our once fallen nature. The work is already done. Jesus said as He was dying on the cross, having been "flagellated" for us, "It is finished."

It’s by grace alone, through faith alone, on the Word alone, because of Christ alone...now and always. It is by God’s grace that He has given us new life, and it is by His grace that we will continue to live this Christian life. Now let us walk in it!

This is the rest of the gospel...the rest of the good news. Now that we have been saved, we have been made new creations in Christ so that we can "walk in newness of life" by His Spirit that lives in us.

"His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him...by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." (2 Peter 1:3-4)

Christ is now living His life through us. This is something to rejoice in, not to be downtrodden about. Otherwise, we’ve missed out on the best part of being a Christian..."Christ in us, the hope of glory"!

What joy, what peace we will have as we rest in Him. His yoke is easy and His burden is light.

The important thing to realize is that we have already been crucified with Christ (Gal.2:20). That is why Romans 6:11 tells us, "Consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God...".

To consider it a future event keeps us from walking in that glorious truth now, and it is the truth that sets us free.

It's true that the flesh wars with the spirit, but it is the spirit which is our new nature, not our flesh. The "old man" is dead. Sin still resides in the flesh, but Paul makes it clear that that sin is not part of his new nature or spirit (Romans 7:17,20).

So, our goal is to walk by the Spirit and not by the flesh. And to remember that "there is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus". (Romans 8:1)

Resting In The New Covenant of His Grace,
Michele

10 comments:

Larry Eiss said...

Amen, Sister!
Well said.

Mark D. Vilen said...

Awesome devotional. It's good to be reminded of the truth of our new identity in Christ. I love the articles you and your husband write.

Mark

Michele Rayburn said...

Larry and Mark,

Thank you so much. We appreciate you both, and are so glad that you are blessed.

In His Love,
Michele

Magnolia said...

Having once been on the hamster wheel of legalism for years, it's no fun. Great blog you have here.

Michele Rayburn said...

Magnolia,

Thank you. So glad you found our blog, as our main purpose here is to set Christians free from the bondage of legalism, as well as to encourage a close walk with Christ.

I hope we continue to be a blessing to you.

In His Love,
Michele

Ike said...

I agree with your post but would add...Repentance is not a one-time act. The repentance that takes place at conversion begins a progressive, lifelong process of confession (1 John 1:9). This active, continuous attitude of repentance produces the poverty of spirit, mourning. and meekness Jesus spoke of in the Beatitudes (Matt. 5:3-6). It is a mark of every true believer.

Terry Rayburn said...

Ike,

Good points. Thanks.

joeborgx said...

I agree- No the Bible agrees with these comments - but in James it says - we are not saved by Faith alone..but faith that leaves good works. Therefore I understand that if I am really dead to self & alive anew in Christ - works shall be the evidence of my new life --isn't it ?

Kaye said...

Thank you for this post Michele. I grew up in a fundamentalist/works oriented christian home and have been struggling to overcome that ever since. God has been chipping away at that bad mentality now for many years and He still has work to do with me; however, I am not where I used to be. Unfortunately, I have been under some very poor teaching along the way. The enemy so wants to keep us in the bondage of the law and the bondage of condemnation. He manages to put people in our paths that continue to bombard us with that bad theology. I'm so thankful for the truth of God's word and for the grace God has provided me in freeing me from the slavery of wrong beliefs.

Michele Rayburn said...

Kaye,

Thanks for sharing. I'm so thankful for the Lord's work in your life, that He opened your eyes to the dangers of legalism.

It's my hope and prayer that He will continue that good work in your life, as He promised. And that you will always have the discernment to know legalism when you see it, and that you will always have the wisdom to flee from it.

"...being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ..." (Philippians 1:6)

In His Love,
Michele